for this game

Jackson leads balanced attack as Warriors edge Grizzlies

Dec 18, 2007 - 5:04 AM By Jason Smith PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) - Stephen Jackson had 28 points and 12 rebounds as the Golden State Warriors held off a late charge for a 125-117 win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday.

Monta Ellis scored 23 points and Baron Davis had 22 and eight assists for Golden State, which bounced back from an ugly 22-point loss at Detroit on Sunday on the first stop on its five-game road swing.

"A win is a win, so we'll take it, especially after our performance in our last game," Jackson said. "Really, I think right now, we're still trying to find our identity. We've got a whole bunch of young guys who are trying to get acclimated to the system.

"But once we get all on the same page and everybody gets healthy, I think the sky's the limit for this team. We can do a lot of damage."

The Warriors led by as many as 18 points in the fourth quarter before Memphis came storming back thanks to a franchise-record eight 3-pointers in the final period.

The Grizzlies went just 1-of-16 from the arc through three quarters, but Mike Miller drilled consecutive 3-pointers to pull Memphis within 113-105 with 3:06 left.

Rudy Gay then drained a pair of free throws with 2:29 left to cut Golden State's advantage to six, but reserve Kelenna Azubuike answered with a shot from the arc on the Warriors' ensuing possession to make it 116-109.

"Nothing is easy for us in the NBA," Golden State coach Don Nelson said. "A coach always worries about things. (Memphis) played a terrific fourth quarter and had themselves almost back in it. We just had to continue to execute down the stretch and win the game."

Gay's three-point play trimmed the deficit to 119-114 with 33 seconds to go, but the Warriors hit key foul shots to secure the win.

"Defensively, it's hard to play against a team that plays like they do," Gay said. "They go up the court fast. They don't really have a dominant big man, so they are all guards, and it's hard to match up against them. They're just a good team."

The 6-9 Gay finished with career high-tying 32 points for the second straight game, and Miller added 20 for the Grizzlies, who shot 52 percent (44-of-85) from the floor.

"I thought (Gay) was very solid in the offensive areas, but he still needs to improve his understanding of knowing how many fouls you have," first-year Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said. "It's not a game-breaker, but when you get the fourth (foul) and I have to bench you, it does become important, so his awareness has to go up there."

Neither Memphis nor Golden State bothered to play much defense in the first quarter, as both teams combined to connect on 17 of their first 22 shots, with the Grizzlies holding a 34-32 edge after one.

Al Harrington and Ellis then began the second quarter with a pair of dunks on consecutive trips down the floor to ignite a 12-0 run as Golden State created a 44-34 lead.

"We started out going back-and-forth, back-and-forth," Ellis said. "We just had to slow down, get everybody together and get down on the defensive end and get some stops."

Ellis, who scored 14 first-half points, scored just eight points on 2-of-5 shooting in Sunday's 109-87 loss at Detroit

"This is the NBA, and you're going to have nights like that," he said. "You're either going to come back the next night or you'll come back and get the same results as you got at Detroit. You have to put that game behind you and come back and focus on this one."

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